Germany has one of Europe’s largest telecom markets, as befits a country with a population of more than 81 million. Penetration in the broadband and mobile sectors is about average for the region. Both the fixed network and broadband markets are dominated by Telekom Deutschland, though other notable players including freenet, Vodafone and Telefónica, have gained market share as the incumbent continues to rebound from a poor performance which has led to declining revenue since 2010.

Germany also has the second largest broadband market in Europe. The dominant DSL platform is led by Telekom Deutschland which has invested in network upgrades in recent years, with a focus of VDSL and vectoring technologies combined with fibre. The company has also trialled technology to add to the mix, and so provide a more economically feasible super-fast broadband product to meet the demands and timetable of the government’s national broadband targets by 2020. The strategy is also aimed at competing with cablcos, which by 2017 will begin deploying DOCSIS 3.1 networks and hardware capable of delivering data at up to 1Gb/s.

The mobile market is the largest in Europe, with about 118 million subscribers generating the largest proportion of revenue in the telecom sector as a whole. In common with most markets the main area of growth is in mobile data, with the number of mobile broadband subscribers having increased rapidly in recent years on the back of extensively available 3G and LTE networks. The market was long dominated by Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone Germany, though the acquisition of E-Plus by Telefónica has effectively created a triopoly of MNOs with relatively similar market share among them. There is also healthy market competition from an increasing number of resellers and MVNOs, which has placed pressure on voice and data tariffs, resulting in lower ARPU. Regulatory pressure on roaming charges and mobile termination rates have also eroded operator revenue, and encouraged them to step-up their development of data applications to improve profits.

These investments provide enormous potential for future growth, particularly given recent spectrum auctions which have enable operators to improve the reach and capabilities of their networks. As well as having refarmed digital dividend spectrum for mobile broadband use, the regulator auctioned additional spectrum in the 700MHz band in June 2015, paving the way for national mobile broadband coverage when this spectrum becomes available from 2017.

For more information see – Germany - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses